Many times, we marvel at how certain leaders always seem to get things done. We are often impressed with the successes some leaders attain. At times, we are even surprised by how other leaders may pull a theoretical rabbit out of the hat to accomplish a great feat. As I continue to study leaders and leadership, I am reminded of the many traits and characteristics that make leaders great. Today, I am reflecting on wisdom, study and prioritization.
Wisdom could arguably be considered the greatest asset any leader could possess. The ability to make sound decisions that are in the best interest of key stakeholders requires wisdom and integrity. Many of history’s best leaders are recognized for the smart, difficult and sometimes heroic decisions they have made. When you get a chance to hear or read their perspective, you will learn that many of them credit their own wisdom, or that of others, as the driving factors behind key decisions. Wisdom is essential.
Every situation is different, but we can learn from studying success and failure of the past. We use a phrase in our society, “Experience is the best teacher.” I contend that experience can teach us and save us significant time, if we study our own past and that of others before us. Many great leaders site lessons they learned from study or consulting others who had the same or similar roles before them. At times, we reflect and study lessons we learned before and later understand why we went through certain experiences. For example, my best friend from college suffered through a bout with cancer many years ago. I was part of his village that supported him. Now, my mother suffers through a form of cancer. To help support her, I study the things my friend experienced. We are working together, partially by studying the past.
Prioritization is extremely powerful. Great leaders have an ability to make the most impactful things the priority. Many tackle the urgent things first while some place top priority on the difficult things. Still, vast numbers of people choose the easy or fun things first. However, the best leaders prioritize the most impactful things first. If the desired result is to win the race, great leaders determine the most significant thing that needs to be done to win and focus on that thing first.
If we, as leaders, seek wisdom first, study the past, and prioritize our future, we increase our chances for great success. As always, Lead with Integrity.